The truth is, you won’t find an easy button to promote your book successfully.
Many self publishing companies, even Christian self publishers, promote flashy deals and make empty promises to promote your book and reach tens of thousands amount of bookstores and millions of readers.
The facts, however, prove that publishing a book and promoting it effectively takes diligent hard work.
“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.” Proverbs 12:11
I’d prefer to think it’s not this way, but there really are some worthless pursuits in the Christian book publishing industry.
One new trend Is buying your way onto the best seller’s list. This not only started as a secular trend, but is not infecting the Christian publishing industry.
In one instance, an author took church money to put toward this effort to make him show up on the best seller’s list, to his shame many months later. Read this story
Another marketing ploy includes manipulating the data. For example, these days authors are bombarded with bestseller programs where they pay a hefty fee to be coached on the steps to take to make sure their new book becomes an “Amazon best seller.”
This bestseller title is attained by manipulating the system to get buyers to purchase a book on the same day and at the same time so the author can show up as a #1 seller and use it in their signature line for evermore (even if they only showed up as #1 for 30 seconds!).
“Differing weights and differing measures— the Lord detests them both.” Proverbs 20:10
As Christian writers and authors we are called to a higher standard. We shouldn’t be involved in manipulating the data to look like something we’re not. Even lousy writing and questionable doctrine can become a bestseller using this method. Instead, can I suggest that we put in the hard work it takes to write and produce a good book, and trust God that He will make it work for your good?
We need to do the hard work.
- Create an excellent message in a professionally edited book.
- Find your audience and market directly to them.
- Interact with people in person and through social media.
Creating a quality book would include most of the following:
- Professional evaluation
- Coaching and/or editing
- Quality custom cover design
- Compelling sales copy written for the back cover
- Proper formatting, designed to match the look of the cover
- Professionally designed graphs or charts
- Permissions for cited material
- Scripture accuracy checking
- Footnotes or end notes
Find your audience:
Your audience isn’t anyone and everyone. You have a unique message and experiences that God can use to connect and speak to a particular market.
When you take the time to define your target market and write your book with them in mind, you will produce a book that readers want to read and share.
In addition, defining your target audience will help you promote in the right places. The more specific you can be about the reader your book will speak to, the easier it will be to find them!
Interact with people:
God created us to form relationships. We are relational beings, and therefore, interacting with people face-to-face and online is a crucial promotional strategy. Check out this radio show where we discussed the power of connections.
Depending on your unique audience, you can choose strategic places to interact with them. Take a listen to a radio show I did last year that focused on connecting with your audience and shared some very creative ways to connect! In addition, share your story with your family, friends, church, and community. Tell others what God has done in your life and through your experiences become a resource to others who are looking for answers.
There are many deceptive tactics that even “Christian publishers” utilize. It’s important that you do the research to find a company who shares your values and will help you publish your book with excellence. Find a true Christian publisher who won’t just promote a one-size fits all package, but will take the time to understand you, your unique book project, and your goals.